Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Which Way Do I Look?

For those of you familiar with or living in the Deaf culture, you must already know the rules of eye contact during communication. The basic rules is to keep close eye contact with the person who is signing to you. One look away can cost you an entire conversation or, even worse, a friend.

It’s one of the rules that many hearing people break—usually unknowingly. However, it does happen when the hearing person knows the rules but doesn’t respect them closely enough. And when I first decided to use interpreters practically on a daily basis, it was very confusing to even me.

I mean, I’m suppose to remain my eye contact towards the person signing to me. That would obviously be my interpreter. At the same time, I felt rude to the person doing the talking. So, who do I look at?

I started going back and forth. When the person talking stopped moving his lips, I would watch the interpreter till she was done and then go back to staring at the talker. Is this so wrong? What exactly do you guys do or what do you experience?

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